Sustainable Business — Everything You Should Know
Sustainable business is embraced by many big companies as consumers are more concerned about the ethical standards of companies in making and operating their business. However, what is a sustainable business?
For this article, we will discuss what sustainable business is. We will tackle its importance and tell you how you can create your sustainable business strategy. Additionally, we will show you companies that have sustainability initiatives.
Once you are done reading this article, you will know the significance of why many companies embrace sustainability. Thus, this will allow you to be inspired by their sustainability initiatives that you can adopt in your company.
The Meaningof Sustainability in Business
Today, many professionals in different industries often use the word sustainability. However, what is it? In business, sustainability refers to how a business operates without negatively impacting the environment, society, and the economy.
Business sustainability, also known as corporate sustainability, is the coordination and management of environmental, social, and economic demands and concerns ensuring ethical, responsible, and ongoing success.
The sustainability practices of businesses are usually assessed against the environmental, social, and governance metrics. Investments in socially ethical practices may initially cost money. However, it will lead to improved recruitment, public relations, branding, and increased profitability.
As we face many challenges in the world, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of climate change has become too risky to ignore. Right now, many businesses are seeing both pressure and opportunity in establishing their sustainability goals.
The Importanceof Sustainability in Business
We are living in an unpredictable world. Dwindling natural resources, climate change, and increasing demands on energy and food supply are disrupting business operations and supply chains in various ways many professionals do not expect.
Therefore, it is important for private and public organizations to rethink the way they function. Transforming into a successful sustainable business requires new levels of agility and resilience that are rooted in sustainable practices that preserve the planet.
For us to protect the planet and future generations, companies need to drive decarbonization, comply with environmental regulatory requirements, and improve resource consumption. Those businesses paving the way in sustainability initiatives and practices are embracing new business models to increase brand loyalty, uncover new opportunities to decrease costs, and ultimately win customers.
Creating a SustainableBusiness Strategy
1. Know the problem and define your objectives
The first step to driving change within your company is to know what sustainability means in your company. Consider the problems each person in your company thinks about sustainability as a priority.
To guide you in this process, you may ask yourself these questions:
- What is our company culture? Is it struggling?
- How much waste does my organization produce?
- Are our hiring processes attracting diverse job candidates?
- Is our product targeted to help a certain group or audience?
- What is the impact of our business operation in the surrounding community?
2. Define your company’s mission
Once you have defined your company’s objective, you are now ready to define your company’s mission. Having a unique mission statement is a significant part of becoming a sustainable business.
An effective mission statement outlines the focus of your company. It should include your organization’s purpose and values. Additionally, it must serve as a guide on why you are initiating sustainability in your company.
3. Align your Strategy with sustainability
Companies should know that contrary to traditional ways of thinking, sustainability is not at odds with profits or competitive advantages. Sustainability is essential if you want to stay longer in the industry.
Businesses should strive to exceed compliance and use sustainability to their advantage against other businesses.
4. Implement and assess the results of your strategy
For you to be able to know if your strategy is effective, you must implement it in the process of your company. As your mission and strategy are solidified, you have a higher chance of implementing them successfully.
Additionally, You should assess your process periodically to ensure that your sustainability business objectives, missions, and progress remain aligned with one another.
Examples of Sustainability Initiativesof Companies
Orsted, a Danish state-owned energy company, revolutionized the power industry with its goal to reduce the effects of climate change.
It has discontinued its investment in coal-powered plants and reinvested into wind farms and is now the largest offshore wind farm developer in the world.
Orsted has achieved its goal of sustainability by encouraging its supply chain ecosystem to align. Thus reducing carbon emissions and achieving its net zero goals.
Unilever and Nestle both made major commitments to sustainability initiatives. Unilever is aiming to achieve net-zero emissions from its goods by 2039 and its supply chain be free from deforestation by 2023.
On the other hand, Nestle is targeting to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and have 100% sustainable packaging by 2025.
Apple is known for its high-tech launch spectacles and factories in China. It has committed to mitigating the effect of climate change in some of the hardest hit areas.
Apple is working with Conservation International, pledging to replant 27,000 mangrove trees along the coastline in Colombia. The mangrove trees are used to filter the carbon from the atmosphere and protect the coastlines from erosion.
Additionally, it has initiated to run on 100% green energy at its production facilities that rely on wind and solar power instead of the traditional source of energy which is fossil fuels.
In September 2020, Google made one of its most ambitious environmental commitments which is to run its operation purely on carbon-free energy by 2030.
Additionally, it has announced that it purchased enough carbon offsets to completely cancel out all the planet-heating carbon emissions the company has released since its establishment in 1998.
+ What is sustainability in business?
Sustainability in businesses is the coordination and management of environmental, social, and economic demands and concerns ensuring ethical, responsible, and ongoing success.
+ What is the importance of sustainability today?
Sustainability allows companies to take responsibility for how their operation affects the environment and society. Therefore, It is important to protect the environment and the well-being of their workforce and their surrounding community.
+ Why are many companies switching to sustainability nowadays?
Many companies are switching to sustainability as they are pressured by customers, investors, and the government to be accountable for how they can impact the environment and the people through their operations.
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